What A “White Hole” Really Is In Physics.

I recently read an article about white holes and I thought I would explain the dynamics of stars, black holes and white holes for anyone who was interested.  If you’re sketchy on how a star or black hole works it helps to know the basics to understand white holes.


So yeah, a star happens when a massive cloud of hydrogen and other elements gets so big and dense it begins to contract and get smaller and smaller making it’s core hotter and denser until atoms start fusing and setting off nuclear explosions.  This “ignites” the star.  But it’s gravity is so strong the explosions are all bottled up in a massive, super-hot ball of death (or life if you’re far enough away). 

(actual picture of our star, the sun)

The star cannot explode but it gradually converts it’s matter into energy (light, heat and other forms of radiation) which leave the star, so it’s size, mass and gravity gradually decrease over time.  Millions or billions of years later (depending on the size of the star and how furiously it’s burning through it’s fuel) it’s mass and therefore gravity is diminished to the point where gravity begins to lose the battle.  When a small star like ours is near it’s end it begins to gradually expand until it runs out of steam and then it collapses and reignites into a much cooler dwarf star, which then because it’s much cooler burns for a very, very long time.  Massive stars on the other hand, when they are on a knife-edge of exploding will begin to expand, but that lets some heat off of the core so it contracts, which heats it up again, so it expands, and contracts and expands and so on, as this continues the core temperature reaches massively hotter temperatures fusing heavier and heavier elements together to form even heavier elements, releasing even more energy and making it even hotter – then when the star gets hot enough to make iron, BOOM.  It’s temperature skyrockets in a chain reaction that makes it hot enough to, within a few seconds, form every higher element than iron and explode violently (which is called a supernova), sending it’s contents out into the universe – which is where the atoms in your body were born.  During the last ten seconds of the star’s life it outshines it’s entire galaxy (billions of other stars combined) and emits more energy than our sun will emit over it’s entire 8 billion year lifespan.  The outside of the sun explodes away and the explosion contracts the core into a neutron star, a ball a small fraction of the size of the earth so dense that a teaspoon of matter from it would weigh as much as every car in north america put together.

(The “crab” nebula, the remnants of a supernova witnessed by arab and chinese astronomers a thousand years ago, it is still expanding at over a thousand miles a second and some particles in it have been clocked at around half the speed of light, due to magnetic effects – it is roughly 65 trillion miles across.)

Black Holes.

Sometimes stars are even bigger still, and when those super-massive stars go they explode just like the massive ones do, only their mass is so huge that even as they’re exploding they have enough gravity to pull themselves back together, collapsing to form an even denser star.  The only thing is they’re so big and their gravity is so strong to begin with that when they collapse to form an even denser star their gravity becomes so intense even light can’t escape it, so it forms a completely dark sun, so dense matter itself collapses inside of it and it sucks everything in within range of it.  This is a black hole and they are known to exist.


Before I go into white holes I have to explain a little bit about relativity.  When an object approaches the speed of light, time (motion) slows down, which is why a self-propelled object can never reach the speed of light – as you get closer and closer the rocket on your spaceship would work slower and slower giving you less and less thrust.  If you were in a spaceship approaching the speed of light you would experience time as you do now, but that is because the neurons in your brain would be slowing down along with everything else so everything would seem normal to you.  But someone outside the spaceship standing still if they could look into the window would see you virtually frozen in time, because time is traveling differently for each of you – time just being how we describe motion.  The universe is operating faster for the still person and slower for you, relative to each other.  No one knows why the universe works this way (as far as I know), but it observably does.  Another thing which slows down time is gravity.  The stronger the gravity the slower things move.  So if you got sucked into a black hole time for you would stop, but it wouldn’t matter because you’d be ripped to atoms before getting close to the black hole anyway.  Scientists have speculated that since time slows down the closer you get to the speed of light and stops if something reaches the speed of light, that sending something faster than the speed of light would send it backwards in time – this is the basis for the star trek movie with the whales where they attempt time travel by slingshotting around the sun, because einstein postulated that the only thing strong enough to send something past the speed of light would be gravity.  Which brings us to:

White Holes.

Now here’s where it gets even crazier.  According to theoretical physics sometimes a super-massive star, as it goes supernova will be spinning fast enough to, as it’s collapsing into a black hole singularity, maintain it’s rotation and as it collapses smaller and smaller it will spin faster and faster for the same reason an ice skater spins faster as he or she pulls their limbs in tighter.  Sometimes, theoretical physicists postulate, it spins fast enough for the singularity to form as a doughnut shape instead of a sphere, which sucks matter in through the doughnut hole, sending it past the speed of light, backwards in time.  This would appear in the past as a supernova-like explosion appearing out of nowhere.  Ready for the cool part?  Scientists may have witnessed one 5 years ago.  They detected a supernova-like gamma ray burst which occurred in a region where no apparent supernova has taken place and think it may have been a white hole caused by a black hole which hasn’t formed yet.


Here’s the picture:

Here’s an article about it.

Rec’ this or there’s something wrong with you, lol.


About agnophilo

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21 Responses to What A “White Hole” Really Is In Physics.

  1. Awesome blog you wrote here. The time and the research you took, plus the pictures. I had no clue about the While Holes. All and all, how the ancient mystics use to say…”The more we know, the less we know.” Applies very well to our ever changing universe.

  2. Very interesting. Are these white holes related to quasars?

  3. agnophilo says:

    @The_Eyes_Of_A_Painter – Yup : )  And I didn’t know about white holes until a day or two ago.@TheBlueNinjaTiger – Not that I know of – as galaxies get older the stars orbiting them become more and more stable in their orbits because the unstable stars (those moving toward or away from the core) get alternately flung into the void between galaxies or ripped apart (releasing the energy of a supernova) and sucked into the supermassive black hole at the core.  A quasar is a highly radioactive galaxy where unstable stars are still being ripped apart in large numbers by the black hole at the center.  They eventually die down and become galaxies like ours.  If our galaxy was a quasar the galactic core would be as bright as our sun and we’d be baked.  Though a rogue planet with no star could theoretically thrive in a galaxy like that : )  Good luck finding it though.

  4. dirtbubble says:

    Nothing wrong with me.

  5. agnophilo says:

    @dirtbubble – For a second I thought you said that just to be snobby and didn’t rec’ : )  Thanks for reccing : )

  6. Did you just read Discover Magazine? They had a thing on White hole

  7. @agnophilo – I thought maybe you did because I just read it today šŸ™‚

  8. YouToMe says:

    Wow! Sweet! I wonder who brought this to your attention(?) ;)I wonder who brought it to mine Gotta love the spawn.

  9. I don’t mean to nitpick, but one little thing is wrong in this article:None of this is in the Bible, so it can’t possibly be true.

  10. agnophilo says:

    @Kristenmomof3 – Nope, sounds like a good rag though : )@YouToMe – Yes you get credit : )  And so does the spawn, by proxy.  If we’re nice we might even give a little to the scientists from einstein on upward who actually thought this crazy shit up : )@GodlessLiberal – Har har : P  It would be awesome if this stuff was in the bible though.

  11. agnophilo says:

    @YouToMe – A morning star is also a astronomical thing, it’s when the planet venus can be seen during the daytime, usually in the morning.  In the bible both god and the devil are called morning star : )  Sounds kinda zen to me.

  12. YouToMe says:

    About the court example. What about when I do something wrong. And you know I sure have. Rewind my screaming at you that fateful day. Remember how you showed me undeserved grace and forgiveness? Remember how you were so understanding when I was way off base? How come? I was so wrong. So unkind. But bc you knew me. Bc there was such goodness and integrity in you, Bc you had compassion, you forgave me. You knew it was ignorance on my part. Sin is ignorance. But a caring person finds a way to bridge that gap of separation and woundedness. A caring person puts their hurt feelings aside and does what is best for the greater good. Good/ love/grace outweighs apathy/condemnation. But justice also comes when receiving grace. The person receiving grace is overwhelmed by their undeservedness and hopefully finds a way to never do that again. to learn and evolve.

  13. YouToMe says:

    I sure went whackadoodle on your site. Mostly irrelevantsville too

  14. YouToMe says:

    Deleted my whackadoodle comments

  15. YZO says:

    just learned a lot! these things are always fascinating šŸ™‚

  16. Nice post…I study astrophysics so it’s nice to see someone else on xanga with an interest in it.

  17. agnophilo says:

    @YouToMe – Undeserved?  You need to cut yourself some slack now and then.

  18. agnophilo says:

    @YZO – : )  I know, love this stuff.@LetsTripTheLightFantastic – : )

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